Zach Lopatka Named to Horizon League All-Academic Team

Zach Lopatka (Photo by Ken Lanese)
Zach Lopatka (Photo by Ken Lanese)

Senior pitcher and outfielder Zach Lopatka of the Youngstown State baseball team has been named to the Horizon League All-Academic Team for the 2019 season, the league office announced on Thursday. The teams were voted on by the conference's faculty athletics representatives.

Lopatka has played in 23 games and made 18 starts as a position player this season in addition to making 10 pitching appearances. The Exeter, Pa., native is batting .290 with three doubles, four RBIs and a .405 on-base percentage in 12 Horizon League contests. He has pitched a total of 19 innings in eight relief appearances and two starts on the mound.

Lopatka allowed one run on two hits and struck out three batters over 3.1 innings to earn his first career save in a 5-3 win over Toledo on April 10. He entered in the sixth inning with two outs and runners on first and second, and proceeded to get the final 10 outs of the game for the Penguins. He retired the first seven batters he faced, and got two big strikeouts in the ninth with the Rockets threatening.

Lopatka's best performance at the plate came at Northern Kentucky on March 16, when he went 2-for-4 with a single, an RBI double, a walk and two runs scored. He also went 2-for-4 in both games of a doubleheader against Milwaukee on April 13 with two doubles and a run scored in game one. The senior had a season-high two RBIs against the Norse in game two of doubleheader on April 18. He also had an RBI single and scored a run in the series finale on April 19.

Lopatka holds a 3.72 GPA as a general studies major. To be eligible for All-Academic Team consideration, student-athletes must be a starter of important reserve for their team, have completed at least 24 semester (or 36 quarter) hours at their institution and have a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.2. The Penguins have now had at least one player earn all-academic honors in each of Dan Bertolini's three seasons as head coach.